'Very happy' Taylor Moore addresses potential permanent Hearts transfer

Taylor Moore is the type of person to have a smile on his face when he’s retelling the disappointment of a harsh red card, so when the defender says he’s “very happy” with life at Hearts then it’s impossible not to believe him.
Hearts defender Taylor Moore is on loan from Bristol City, where he still has 18 months left on his contract. Picture: SNSHearts defender Taylor Moore is on loan from Bristol City, where he still has 18 months left on his contract. Picture: SNS
Hearts defender Taylor Moore is on loan from Bristol City, where he still has 18 months left on his contract. Picture: SNS

The Bristol City loanee has been used as a squad player since arriving at the club towards the tail end of the summer window. Confident on the ball, Moore can cover for the absence of John Souttar on the right side of defence, while his physical and athletic attributes mean he can slot in anywhere across the back five and not give his manager pause for thought.

Though he’s yet to reach the status of established first-team regular, with every single member of the back five currently on an expiring deal – Michael Smith, Souttar, Craig Halkett, Stephen Kingsley and fellow loanee Alex Cochrane – there could easily be a spot in the near future if Moore continues to put in the kind of performances largely witnessed this season.

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The problem is the 24-year-old still has plenty of time left on his contract at Ashton Gate and it would the English Championship club’s decision as to whether the former Lens youngster is allowed to leave permanently in the summer, or even January.

“The first question the manager asked me when I spoke to him was ‘what do I want to get out of this loan?’ I just said to him ‘I just want to feel part of something special, but also get as many games under my belt.’ I’ve definitely felt that here.” said Moore.

“The club, despite the tough times it’s had over recent seasons, is back where it belongs and it’s moving on. From a structural point of view, everything is here. They’ve got good facilities, good stadium, good fanbase, very good sporting director, a good manager and everyone around the club has made me feel special since being here.

“For me to sit here and say I haven’t thought about the future would be a lie, but ultimately I’ve got 18 months left on my contract at Bristol City, which is a very good club, a big club that I love to bits as well.

“It’ll be their decision. I’m sure they’ll make the right decision, making sure that all parties are happy, whether that’s them, the club I’m going to or myself, but it will come down to me: where do I feel happy, where do I feel settled, where do I feel that I want to play my football.

“I have been thinking about it, but that’s a conversation to have with Bristol City at some point. I’m very happy here on loan at the moment, so I’m not in any rush to make a decision."

Due to a succession of loan deals, Hearts are the seventh club in Moore’s still-young career and he’s getting to the point where he wants to get some stability in his life. At this moment in time, it seems more likely that’ll be in Scotland rather than back down south.

“I think I will learn more here,” he said. “I had the opportunity to go to a couple of teams in England, in League One, but I’ve kind of already done that, so when the opportunity came to come up to Hearts and play Scottish football, it was a bit different and that was the main challenge for me: go and enjoy your football in front of a good set of fans, go and enjoy Edinburgh and actually learn to play in a new division as well.

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“I’m coming up against some very good players that will teach me a lot. It’s something different for me, but I’m hoping it’s going to help me develop, as I’m still quite young at 24.

“I’ve had a lot of loans and I’m coming to an age now where I’d like to settle down and really kick on, develop my game even more with a club that actually want me.”

For the here and now it’s about Saturday’s game against Dundee as Moore hopes to keep his spot on the right side of defence with Michael Smith having returned to full training on Thursday following a calf issue.

The fixture comes off the back of last week’s 2-0 defeat to Rangers, where the hosts gave the much-fancied visitors a tough encounter but couldn’t finish their chances in a frustrating 2-0 defeat.

"Rangers were a very good team in general, but looking at us, we can walk away with our heads held high despite the result,” said Moore. “People watching this Hearts team would agree that we got stuck into them, we had a really good go.

"It was very tough going up against Ryan Kent. Trust me, none of you would want to chase him around for 90 minutes! He's a very good player, one that I came across at Bristol City when he was on loan there a few years ago. I did a lot of research on him, but you saw it at the first goal the ability and turn of pace. It's the reason he's been linked with so many big-money moves down to the Premier League.

“I've just enjoyed playing. It's been very stop-start with me being in and out of the team, or coming on after 20 minutes on one occasion.The main thing for me is that I want to be playing games. That's the best way of learning and enjoying your football. Nobody has ever enjoyed sitting on the bench, that's for sure.

“I've got healthy competition here with a lot of the boys playing really well. Sometimes you just have to accept that's football. You've just got to sit back and wait for your opportunity. Whether that opportunity comes at right wing-back, right-back or centre-half, I just need to go out there and enjoy it.”

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